Born Smart? Shame on You! Better Check Your Privilege

“You have nothing to be proud of for being smart.”

If you were accidentally born smart, then shame on you, according to an op-ed in the University of Iowa’s student newspaper, The Daily Iowan. Move over, white privilege, there’s a new privilege in town and it needs to be checked.

Dan Williams writes:

There are many kinds of privilege besides white privilege: cognitive privilege, for example. We now know that intelligence is not something we have significant control over but is something we are born with. We are living in a society in which success is increasingly linked to one’s intelligence. This is not to say that intelligence is the only factor that is important. All that is implied is that below a certain threshold of intelligence, there are fewer and fewer opportunities. These opportunities are being shifted upward to jobs that require heavier cognitive lifting or else are being replaced by robots. Thus, the accident of having been born smart enough to be able to be successful is a great benefit that you did absolutely nothing to earn. Consequently, you have nothing to be proud of for being smart.

Now to social justice progressives, this doesn’t mean white privilege is out; to the contrary. Williams says there’s just too much “confusion about what white privilege is” and therefore, “the wider concept” of “privilege itself” needs to be understood before moving on to white privilege.

“Once we have admitted the reality of privilege itself and identified some species of privilege, we are better able to talk about the temperature-rising topic of racial privilege,” Williams states.

Privilege, he adds, is “the receipt of certain benefits wholly through the accident of birth.” In other words, Williams continues, if someone was born the unluckiest person in the world, then that makes the rest of us privileged of not being the unluckiest person in the world. See how this works (and the kind of leftists we're dealing with)?

Being aware of privilege isn’t something your garden variety identity politicker wants instilled as “a sort of Catholic guilt,” but “to enlarge their moral consciousness, to make them more sympathetic to people who are less fortunate than they are," Williams furthers.

“The purpose of pointing out someone’s privilege is to remind them of the infinite number of experiences that are possible and the very large number of experiences that are actual that they know very little about,” Williams writes, confidently assuming the rest of us aren’t smart enough to realize everybody experiences different things. (Apparently, Williams is still in the process of checking his cognitive priv.)

In conclusion, Williams recognizes that “feelings of guilt are natural” when realizing ones privileges, but states that it is an “impediment to social-justice action, not a motivator” because guilt breeds resentment. 

“We can debate whether ‘whiteness’ is a sort of ‘master privilege’ that overrules all others,” he ends. “Personally, I don’t find this believable — I don’t think our present society is that racist — but I imagine it once was. And that is enough to make one shudder.”

No, this article is enough to make us shudder. We’re more dumber for having read it!